Bruce Heiser hit a two-run homer, his first of the season, in the ninth inning to break a 6-6 tie and provide the margin of victory as the Durham Bulls defeated the Alexandria Dukes, 8-7, yesterday at Four Mile Run Park.
Heiser's hit came on an 0-2 pitch from reliever Wilfrido Cordoba (5-4) and just cleared the wall in left field. It followed a leadoff single by Freddy Tiburcio.
Alexandria scored in the ninth on two-out, back-to-back doubles by pinch hitter Andy Snaith and Rick Renteria, but reliever Rick Hatcher earned his first save by getting Ken Ford on a fly ball to right field. Renteria's run batted in gave him 70 for the season, tying the club record set by Gary Pellant in 1979.
The teams combined for 23 hits, 21 walks and nine pitchers, with the Bulls using five. Each team left 15 runners on base. Gary Reiter, who entered the game in the eighth, got the victory, his seventh in 13 decisions. He also has 10 saves.
Durham took a 6-4 lead in the eighth off reliever Art Ray. Heiser led off with a walk and scored on Ken Scanlon's double to right center. Joe Lorenz lined a run-scoring single to center, finishing Ray. Cordoba, after loading the bases, escaped further damage by striking out Steve Chmil.
The Dukes tied it in the bottom of the inning. After one out, Renteria singled, and after two outs Nick Castaneda and Jim Felt walked to load the bases. Reiter relieved Tom Waddell and Pete Rowe pinch-hit for Burk Goldthorn. Just as he had Friday night, Rowe bounced Reiter's first pitch into center field, scoring Renteria and Castaneda.